BethanieKay

Report problem

My Profile

BethanieKay

BethanieKay

USA

I'm an airline professional; a travel fiend. An avid reader, Bookcrosser, leisure photographer and cat lover.

Jul062014

Tour/Activity

Lantau Island and Giant Buddha Day Trip from Hong Kong

Hong Kong, Hong Kong

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this tour, and it was one of the best things I did on my short visit to Hong Kong. There's no way I would've been able to see as much of Lantau Island if I'd tried to do this on my own, especially with all the different forms of transportation needed. The tour was very well organized, and the tour-guide was knowledgeable and friendly, and she kept everything on schedule. It was nice to see the rural aspects of life on Lantau Island, including the stop at 'long sand' beach, the drive by the pretty reservoir and a couple prisons, and the lovely drive up and over the lush mountains to the Tai O fishing village. The village itself was an interesting look into traditional culture, even though it did smell quite bad (imagine the heat mixed with drying fish parts). I was very happy that our tour bus drove to the top of the Giant Buddha, sparing us the 268-step climb in the horrid heat/humidity :) The tour also included entry into the special exhibit area inside the Buddha, which wasn't much help without commentary (I had no clue what I was looking at), but I enjoyed the air conditioning anyway! The walk through the Po Lin monastery was interesting, and the vegetarian lunch wasn't that bad. We didn't have as much time as I would've liked to wander the shops in Ngong Ping village before boarding the cablecar, but that's okay. The cablecar ride was amazing - the views over Lantau Island and the south China sea were beautiful. Be sure to look back for views of the Big Buddha. Then topping the ridge, you get views of the Hong Kong airport - which was also very cool, as the airport sits on a man-made island. Overall, this was a very good all-day tour, with the highlights being the Big Buddha and the cablecar ride. I'd definitely recommend this tour, and I recommend you bring a small backpack with a few bottles of water, sunscreen, and an umbrella for small rainshowers, or to keep the very hot sun off you (do as the locals do!).

My Photos

  • Dried fish/fish parts for sale at the fishing village
  • Tai O fishing village - houses on stilts
  • 'Long Sand' beach
  • Big Buddha from the cablecar
  • Big Buddha from Ngong Ping village
  • Big Buddha
  • Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha

Jul052014

Tour/Activity

Hong Kong Island Half-Day Tour

Hong Kong, Hong Kong

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

This was a really great half-day overview of Hong Kong Island, and especially worth it if you have limited time. The tour was very well organized, and the tour guide was informative and funny. I found it to be a great value because the tour takes you to various places around HK island, which saves you from trying to navigate all of those places on your own with the various types of transportation you'd need. It was very smart of the tour-guide to run this tour 'backwards' (so, ending at The Peak vs. starting there), so we didn't have to wait in long lines for the Peak tram. Overall highlights of the tour were the view from the top of Victoria Peak, and the beautiful drive to Stanley on the south side (sit on the right side of the bus to get the best views). The low point of the tour was the jewelry factory "tour", which isn't a tour at all - it's a ploy to get you to buy jewelry at a local jewelry maker's showroom, which is pretty annoying, but oh well. Considering how inexpensive this tour is, I felt it was okay to suffer through 30 minutes inside an air conditioned jewelry showroom with complimentary refreshments. The 'tour' of Aberdeen harbor also includes an optional sampan boat tour, which I'd recommend doing because it's cheap and fun to ride in the boat, and get a view of the harbor while you're at it. It was just a little disappointing that the sampan captain (who is NOT part of the tour - just a local merchant), didn't give any real commentary about what we were seeing around the harbor. Again, oh well. All in all, this was a great quick overview of HK island, and I'm glad I did it!

My Photos

  • Hong Kong from Victoria Peak
  • Views on the drive to Stanley
  • Stanley Beach
  • Floating restaurant on Aberdeen Harbor
  • Fishing boats on Aberdeen Harbor

May212013

Tour/Activity

Montenegro Day Trip from Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, Croatia

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I highly recommend booking this tour. I felt very comfortable booking with Viator, and the price was excellent. The local tour operator, Elite Travel, was highly efficient. They were responsive to my questions via email, and the tour was on time at each point during the day. The bus itself was nice, and the tour guide Maria was very pleasant, personable, and knowledgeable about the history and culture of the areas we toured. The driver was also fantastic, safely and efficiently getting us around some pretty precarious turns! There are various day-trip/tours of Montenegro, but this one, I feel, hit the best spots compared to other tours. The drive around the bay of Kotor was lovely (although I wish we had just a couple more 5-minute stops for photos - but I understand there really weren't many places on the narrow roads for large buses to pull over for this purpose), there was just enough free time in the charming old walled city of Kotor, the drive up the 25 hair-pin curves to see the breathtaking view of the bay from above was amazing, the lunch stop in the lovely mountain village of Cetinje was a nice break (although I think it could've been made just a little more clear that the lunch was at our own expense - which wasn't a problem, it just wasn't clearly stated), and free time in the seaside old town of Budva was pleasant. All in all, this tour was WELL worth it. The sights were incredible, and having the day planned and taken care of by Viator/Elite Travel was a great way to go!

My Photos

  • Budva
  • Budva
  • Lunch stop in Cetinje
  • Walls of Kotor
  • Church in Kotor
  • Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Viator uses cookies to improve your experience on our website. Learn more about how we use cookies and how to change your cookie settings | Close message